Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Top Ten [What I Believe about the Bible]

I am beyond thankful for today's topic. It renewed my faith in the fact that Scripture is the only source of truth in this world (see #2). If there's ever something I want my children to write down it is this: their belief on God's Word and who God is according to what He's written in it. His Name and His Word will be exalted in our home. Writing on this topic renewed that passion in me. I hope that passion has been evident in nearly everything I publish; because my mission is to know Him and make Him known and I believe that is accomplished through Scripture.
Which leads me to #1:

1. I believe that Scripture was given to us so that we may know Jesus Christ (John 5:39). The more time I spend reading and studying God's Word the more I learn about Him. The more I learn about Him the closer I am to Him. The closer I draw to Him the more I grow and change in miraculous ways. So, the Bible is the most important thing I own and I never leave the house without it. 

I challenge you to think about what you believe about the Bible because what you believe about the Bible will affect how you read it. How you read it determines what you believe about Jesus Christ and what you believe about Jesus Christ is the most important thing you'll ever believe. 

2. I believe Scripture is absolute truth. In fact, I believe that it is the only true source of truth in this world. "The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever." (Psalm 119:160)

3. God exalts His Word above all else. There are actually two things He exalts above all things: His Name and His Word, "... you have exalted about all things your name and your word." (Psalm 138:2).

4. God's Word reveals God's character. God's Word is perfect and holy, just like Him, because His Word reveals who HE is. (See John 5:39, or simply keep reading.) 

5. The Bible is GOD centered. Not man centered. If the first question asked while reading it is: How does this apply to me? you are missing the entire purpose of this book, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me," (Jesus Christ's words in John 5:39). Scripture reveals Jesus Christ, who is the only source of life. My purpose in studying HIS WORD is so that I know THE WORD (aka, Jesus Christ, read John 1:1-18). If you don't read it from a GOD CENTERED perspective, you're reading it with the wrong intentions. And be wary of handling it with the wrong intentions, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene." (2 Timothy 2:15-17) 

6. I believe God had a purpose in each book from Genesis to Revelation. When I read I try to find the author's reason for writing it to whom he wrote it, what I learn grows astronomically. That means I must understand the author, the audience, the history, the original meaning of each word, the sentence structure, and how it all relates to the purpose. By doing so, I'm learning why the Holy Spirit revealed His Word to His prophets, His disciples, His apostles... so that we may know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is who He says He is! I believe that understanding the purpose in each book helps me to rightly handle it (2 Timothy 2:15-17) and know the truth about who God is according to Scripture.

7. I believe the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to the meaning and brings it to mind when I need it. I believe what God's Word states about the Holy Spirit, and I believe He is here to help me. I also believe that I cannot understand God's Word without Him. HE ALONE opens my eyes to HIS WORD, it is nothing that I do on my own. No matter how much studying I accomplish, if I do not rely on this one fact, I will not understand it fully. And if I never make an effort to study, memorize, and meditate on God's Word correctly, how can the Holy Spirit use it to change me and give me growth? I believe that in order for the Holy Spirit to work effectively in the lives of those who believe in Him, we must spend time in His Word - daily

8. Scripture is the very breath of God.  With His Word He created the heavens and the earth, with His Word all of creation came to be. If he is capable of producing all of that with His Word, I have no doubt in my mind -at all- that He created Scripture to reveal Himself and can accomplish His purpose in His believers. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16)

9. "Everything will unfold, not as 66 separate documents, or even 2 separate Testaments - but 1 book, by 1 divine Author, who wrote it all with 1 overarching theme: the redemption of sinners for the glory of God." - John MacArthur (Could not have said it better myself.)

10. I believe God revealed what He revealed for one divine purpose: HIS GLORY. Why do we live? For His glory. Why did God harden Pharaoh's heart? For His glory. (Exodus 6:7, 7:5, 8:10, 8:22, 9:14, 9:16 "... for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.", 9:29, 10:1-2, 11:9 and finally 14:4, "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.", bolded and underline mineWhy did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? For His glory. (John 11:4, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.") There are many, many examples to prove that God exalts His Name and His Word above all else; and I will continue to study what He has given me to know Him better and will continue to make Him known. His glory is revealed throughout Scripture and I will do my best to learn all that He has revealed. How do I know there's more to be revealed? The book of John ends with this miraculous, thought provoking statement, "Now there are also many other rings that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25) Why wasn't everything about God written down? Well, I don't really know, but perhaps our finite brains couldn't handle such information. Still, I do believe all will be revealed in eternity; and I.can't.wait.

As an added bonus: I believe history is HIS STORY unfolded. After all, He created the world, He made the rules, and since He created the beginning; He also created the end. Just because the Bible is written, does not mean HIS STORY is over. Day after day, Scripture is being fulfilled right before our eyes. To continually see God's hand at work - changing lives, revealing Scripture, fulfilling Scripture - well, that gives me incredible peace that He is sovereign and faithful to His Word.
Believing in God's Word and trusting in it entirely has changed my life. Charles Spurgen understood the Bible's effect on people when he said, "A Bible falling apart usually belongs to a person who isn't," and I can honestly tell you that since diving into God's Word a few years ago, my faith is stronger, I am more grounded, more hopeful, more thankful... all because God has revealed Himself to me in more ways than I can count. And because of what Scripture has revealed about Jesus Christ, I am at rest.

Trust me, Alistair Begg had it right in stating that...

Melany and I share a love for scripture and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God's Word plays a vital role in this 16 year old's life as well. Don't forget to read what she believes about the Bible.

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